Sweethearts: Will they finally be edible?

After 145 years, conversation hearts of your youth--and the youths of your great-grandparent's youths--are disappering as NECCO "upgrades" its formula. Some Facebookers are crying blasphemy, but I, for one am thrilled: those chalky little bastards tasted no better than the original NECCO wafer discs.

The new flavors include green apple, blue raspberry, strawberry, lemon, grape, and orange. (What were the old flavors anyway? Pure sugar? I seem to remember some being an awful wintergreen mint...)

And, of course, the messages are being updated, as NECCO has been doing in recent years: Ladies, are the standards so low that you'll settle for "tweet me" or "text me" versus a more meaningful phonecall? Worse, there's also a new iPhone app that lets you personalize a heart and send it digitally to your sweetheart--call me old fashioned, but virtual candy is a sorry substitute for the real thing. At least they're reprising a few retro faves such as "sweet pea" and "love bug."

If you're actually looking for something that tastes good, you may be better off ordering Oreo cookies that have been dipped in chocolate and decorated to look like conversation hearts--chose between Text Me, Bite Me, Love You, Or Miss You.

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